A Kind of Parallel to Hedgerows Forming a Sort of Schism Between
Well-Meaning Folks and Their Grand Estates

It’s like that sort of parable, right, of the lawnmower circumnavigating
a marble fountain, wherein just as he does a pass in his white coveralls

the grass shoots back up behind him, such that his whole day is spent
doing gaseous laps around a small statue of a boy pissing warm water into a pool

while, you’ve heard this one, the client is on the patio, which is made of one behemoth
sort of bedrock slab from Turks and Caicos, like one of those overhanging cliffs

you see people sort of posing on the edges of, as if actually in a precarious situation, and the client
he’s crunching ice cubes between his teeth, throwing some up, they’re glinting in the oranging sun

and he’s kind of you know chortling at the plight of the lawnmower, which plight
he himself orchestrated via the apparatus he fitted to the blade and stocked with

an almost cartoonishly-potent fertilizer (also imported from the larger Antilles),
and accounting for, should you just faithfully kind of buy-in to its fertilizing abilities,

the incessant reanimation of grass behind the coveralled guy,
whose face through all this is ecclesiastically ripe to degrees

in proportion to the amount of time spent mowing and inversely proportional
to the number of cubes remaining in the client’s glass on the warmed-rock patio

so that by dusk, when he’s gone around you know some 638 times, his face is pretty much
in full repentance and the client is only sucking now on the cubes’ softening corners

watching the lawnmower fight what has become a kind of so-called uphill battle, what with
the mulched grass needing to be overcome in and amongst the recurrence of new grass,

the result being a sort of over-refinement/thinness/dilution/effeteness
of grass and lawn care therefrom, which of course, this being a parable,

isn’t about grass or lawn care at all but something vital and kind of diagonally related
if you squint to the sort of non-trivial coordinates of where we’re pretty much at in our day.

Greenhouse (Interstitial)

What did me in was the way he’d free his head
from the magnet pull of television. Blue light

splashing on his face, hand on the sleeping cat,
he had a way of surfacing from leisure.

I’d be scrubbing the counter, the red iron rattle
beneath the pot, steam like ivy up the cabinets,

and he’d give this gasping look, wake me to myself
and this whole interval of time

like what little we’ve done as the water boiled,
like soon our walls would be covered in leaves.


Jeff Handy

Jeff Handy was born and raised in upstate New York and currently lives in Austin, TX, where he is an AmeriCorps member serving underrepresented, degree-seeking youth. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bird’s Thumb, The Mojave River Review, Gandy Dancer, SOFTBLOW, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. He is a poetry editor at DIALOGIST. You can find him on Twitter @j3ffhandy.

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